KOLKATA, Nov 17: Heavy rains lashing the city until recently did make things challenging for the pitch curator, but with four days to go for the first-ever Day-Night Test, Sujan Mukherjee is confident that the 22-yard strip at Eden Gardens will offer a good game of cricket to the spectators when India take on Bangladesh in the second and final Test here on Friday.
Severe Cyclone Bulbul left behind a trail of destruction in West Bengal last weekend and the city also received considerable amount of rainfall. It has otherwise been an unusually wet November too with rain lashing the eastern metropolis on a few occasions.
“The rains did play spoilsport to a certain extent last weekend but thankfully we still had time and things (weather) are back to normal now. The pitch is in good condition. It is ready and like it has been over the last couple of years, Eden will offer a good game of criket and I will try my best,” Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) curator Mukherjee told IANS on Sunday.
Mukherjee said he wanted to hold a trial match on the track to see how it goes but could not do so due to inclement weather.
“I wanted to play a local match on the pitch which will be used. But the cyclone and so much rain spoiled it. But nevertheless, I hope the pitch will have something for everyone. It will have a tinge of green and bounce will be true,” he added. India won the first rubber in resounding fashion, thrashing Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs in Indore on Saturday. All eyes will now be on the pink ball Test which India is playing for the first time ever.
The pink balls arrived at Eden a couple of days back and Mukherjee was expected to test them on the pitch. Asked if he had, the veteran curator said: “I am yet to do so. I will in the coming few days. But it won’t make much of a difference. The pitch will behave like it always has for a Test match here.”
The pink ball is expected to move more than the red one because of the extra lacquer on it which doesn’t go away too fast. “That will be the only noticeable difference, I feel. The bounce will be similar to the red ball and the Eden wicket has always been sporting,” Mukherjee asserted.
He had earlier told IANS that dew won’t be a factor in the match as it is starting at 1 P.M. local time.
Since the top layer of the entire Eden Gardens square was relaid post the India-New Zealand Test in 2016, the pitch has drawn praise from every corner. Contrary to being slow earlier, the Eden track has lot more bounce now and enables good contest between bat and ball.
It has also become much more pace friendly, which means the in-form trio of India pacers Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami could expect to find a lot more purchase. – IANS